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FAQ

A spine doctor usually performs the following tests:

  • Range of motion test to check back mobility
  • Nerve tests to check neurological functioning 
  • Palpation tests to spot the source of pain 
  • Blood and urine tests to rule out other problems, like an infection or a kidney stone
  • Imaging tests like X-rays and MRIs for diagnosing ongoing pain due to a back injury, nerve problems, or persistent fever

 Follow these habits to prevent back pain

  • Always stretch before and after workouts or any other physical activity
  • When sitting: keep your posture straight, use lower back support, and balance your weight on both legs at all times
  • Buy a firm mattress if you don’t already have one with an adequately firm pillow
  • Keep your weight close to your BMI 
  • Avoid heavy weight lifting, and always use your leg strength to lift instead of moving your back
  • Avoid smoking as spine degeneration is one of its negative effects

Ask these questions when consulting your spine doctor online or in-office:

  • What is causing or worsening my back pain?
  • Would surgery be necessary? Are there alternative treatments?
  • What other symptoms or health problems can my back pain lead to?
  • How long will it take to treat my back pain condition?
  • Where can I learn more about managing my back pain in routine life?

A survey conducted by AAPM&R suggests that about one in two people believe that back pain requires surgical treatment. But according to spinal experts, just 5% of back pain cases will be effectively helped by surgery. Hence, experts always exhaust all non-surgical options for back pain treatment before recommending surgery.

 You should reach  out to a spine specialist when:

  • Your back pain persists for three months or more
  • Your back pain radiates to other parts of your body
  • You have a limited range of back motion with motor weakness, numbness, or tingling
  • You have a back injury or accident
  • You experience loss of bladder or bowel control with back pain
  • You have back pain that worsens at night

Chronic Low Back Pain is when you have  persistent or fluctuating pain in your lower  back for longer than three months.

Connection Between Your Spine & CLBP
  • Your lower back has vertebrae of the lumbar  spine that allows forward and backward, as  well as twisting movements
  • The two lowest segments in the lumbar spine,  L5-S1 and L4-L5, carry the most weight and  have the most movement, making the area  prone to injury.screenshot 11
  • Non-specific: No obvious cause
  • Traumatic Injuries: Sports, car accidents, or a  fall injuring tendons, ligaments, or muscle  
  • Vertebral Disk Problems: Herniated or  ruptured discs, disc degeneration

  • Abnormal Curvature of the spine: Scoliosis or kyphosis.

  • Medical problems: Fibromyalgia (musculoskeletal  

    pain) or rheumatoid arthritis (joint pain)

  • Age: More common with  advancing age and between  ages of 30 and 50.
  • Fitness level: Inactive people with weak back and abdominal muscles may not properly support the

  • Job-related factors: Jobs requiring heavy   lifting, pushing, or pulling,  working at a desk

  • Weight Gain: being overweight or obese  puts stress on the back

  • Psychological factors: Anxiety,  depression, mood, stress can  influence the likelihood of  experiencing back pain
  • Smoking: It can restrict blood  flow and oxygen to the  discs, causing them to  degenerate faster.
  • Pain in the lower area  of the back
  • Mobility  impairment

  • Radiating pain in the  lower
  • Difficulty in carrying  out daily activities
  • Difficulty to maintain a standing, sitting or a lying position,  especially in case of radiating pain to the lower extremities bending

Diagnosis of CLBP is based on history, symptoms, physical  examination and results of diagnostic studies.  

When simple treatments are ineffective, your doctor may order  imaging studies of the lower back, which may include

  • Computed Tomography Scan (CT/CAT scan),  
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) 
  • Selective Nerve Root Block 
  • Discography 
  • X-rays
  • Myelography 

 

CLBP is treated by identifying the cause with a stepped care  approach, moving from simple low-cost treatments to more  aggressive approaches.

  • Medications prescribed by doctor
  • Hot or cold packs application 

  • Resuming normal activities to ease pain (bed rest not recommended) 

  • Exercises to strengthen core and back muscles

  • Psychological support 

  • Manual therapy by Chiropractors, Osteopaths or Physiotherapists

  • Surgery for back pain (recommended if there’s a specific  medical reason and when other treatments have not helped

 

  1. Simple back exercises and stretches can help reduce back pain.  Here are some exercises that will help you relieve CLBP.  screenshot 12

 

The Kneeling Stretch

Kneel on the floor, legs spread  

  1. hip-width apart. 
  2.  Sit back on your heels and drop your head down. 
  3.  Feel the stretch
  4. Lift your head up and return to the  starting position through your
  5.  Repeat 5 times. 

screenshot 13

The Knee-to-chest Stretch

  1. Lie on your back with your knees  bent and your feet flat on the fl oor.
  2.  Using both hands, pull and hold both  knees to your chest until you feel a  slight stretch in your lower back.
  3.  Release your knees and return to  the starting position. 
  4. Repeat 5 times.

 

The Back Extension

screenshot 15

  1. Lie on your chest with your hips fl at.
  2. Using both hands, push your hands  off lifting your head and shoulders. 
  3. Arch your back, straighten your  elbows to feel the stretch in the  lower back area. 
  4. Return to the starting position.
  5. Repeat 5 times. 

 

The Plank

screenshot 16

  1. Get into your  forearms on the ground. 
  2.  Keeping your elbows in line with  your shoulders, push up onto your  forearms and toes,keeping your  back straight and your elbows on  the ground.
  3. Hold for a few seconds, and then  lower yourself to the floor.

 

The Cat-Cow

screenshot 17

  1. Get on your hands and knees,  keeping your back straight. 
  2.  Round your lower back as much as  you can toward the ceiling. 
  3.  Then arch your back so that your  stomach comes toward the fl oor.  
  4.  Repeat 10 times.

Always check first with your doctor before starting an exercise program and get a list of helpful exercises.

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